KUALA LUMPUR (July 3): Private sector players operating in Asean can help further drive economic integration within the region, which has been impacted by the pandemic outbreak, by investing to restore supply chain connectivity.
“One of the impacts of the pandemic is the disruption of supply chains. This particular impact has shown that there is a need to really deepen our market integration.
"In my view, one important area where the private sector can assist is how to restore the supply chain connectivity in the region,” said Asean deputy secretary-general for the Asean Economic Community (AEC) Dr Alladin D Rillo, during the CIMB Asean Research Institute's or CARI's webinar themed 'How Asean Bounces Back'.
He said there are two possibilities in which this could materialise. One is in terms of private players' ability to enhance information sharing among them within the supply chain.
“I think this is very important. As you know, private sector players are one of the key players in the supply chain and therefore the ability to exchange information among the different players is critical in order to be able to identify which part of the supply chain is at risk,” he said.
Another way to do so is by investing more in areas like big data and artificial intelligence. “These areas are the key areas the private sector can invest in, in order to restore supply chain connectivity,” Rillo said.
He added that the recovery from Covid-19 would require more robust support from the market, and this is where the private sector can play a role.
While the pandemic outbreak has affected market integration in the region, "this does not mean we need to stop", he said, adding market integration is a work in progress.
“These current difficulties also provide greater justification to ensure greater market integration that the AEC is working towards,” he said.
Established in 2015 to drive regional economic integration, the AEC came up with the AEC Blueprint 2025 — which has been adopted by ASEAN leaders at the 27th ASEAN Summit — that sets out strategic measures to achieve the vision of having an AEC by 2025 that is highly integrated and cohesive, competitive, innovative and dynamic, with enhanced connectivity and sectoral cooperation.